Mary Queen of Scots

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  • 1542 December 8th -- born, daughter of James V and Mary of Lorraine (daughter of the Duke of Guise)

6 days later:

  • 1542 December 14th -- succeeds to Scots throne at age 1 week, on death of her father. James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, James II's great-grandson, became her regent.
  • 1543 -- crowned queen, at Stirling.

Efforts were made to affiance her, to Hamilton/Arran's son, James, and to Henry VIII's son, the future Edward VI.

  • 1547 -- After the death (28 January) of Henry VIII, Mary was betrothed to the heir to the French crown, the dauphin Francis.
  • 1547 -- left Scotland, accompanied by the Four Maries, to be brought up in France, by the Guise family, and to avoid her being seized by the English, who wished her to marry the English prince Edward.
  • 1548 -- formal marriage contract between Mary and Francis agreed.
  • 1553 -- Although Mary Tudor, a fellow-Catholic, became queen in England, the existence of hostilities between England and France prevented the two Maries from being able to reconcile their countries' political differences.
  • 1554 -- Mary dismisses Arran, and makes her Mother, Mary of Guise, her Governor in Scotland.
  • 1558 April 24th -- marries Francis, becomes Queen Consort of France.
  • 1558 -- The accession of the Protestant Elizabeth I to the throne of England renewed antipathy between the kingdoms. More, Scots disliked the increasing influence of France in their nation, and some Scots adopted Protestantism as a form of silent rebellion.
  • 1559 -- Mary of Guise increases persecution of Protestants in Scotland; they react by supporting Mary Stewart's half-brother (illegitimate), James, as a replacement monarch. The Earl of Arran returned from France, and, with his son, James Hamilton, fought off the rebellion.
  • 1560 -- Francis dies; succeeded by his brother Charles; the Guise family fall from power. Mary of Guise also dies.
  • 1561 August -- Mary returns to Scotland, dowager queen of France, but powerless.
  • 1563 -- Elizabeth of England offers Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, as a husband, and to be King of Scotland (Dudley was a Protestant, and someone the English believed they could control).
  • 1565, July -- marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, a half-cousin (and a Catholic). The marriage is generally unpopular.
  • 1566 -- Mary's court secretary, David Rizzio, is murdered in her presence, by Darnley and others.
  • 1567, June -- a son, James, is born to Mary.
  • 1567 -- Mary seized by James, 4th Earl of Bothwell, and either forced or persuaded to marry him (once he had divorced his own wife, and been rapidly acquitted of Darnley's murder).
  • 1567 -- imprisoned and forced to abdicate; her infant son is declared King James VI
  • 1568, May -- escapes from prison
  • 1568 -- crosses the border to England, is arrsted and imprisoned and held in various castles. As such she becomes the focus of English catholics seeking the overthrow of Elizabeth, and of Scots patriots seeking the overthrow of her son's regents. A series of plots are forged, offered to her, and then discovered by the English intelligence apparatus; this leads to Elizabeth becoming convinced that Mary is a live threat to her throne.
  • 1586 -- imprisoned in Fotheringay Castle
  • 1587 -- After becoming implicated in an English-organised plot, ostensibly to have the Duke of Guise invade England in her interests, Mary was given a show trial before the Court of Star Chamber (at which she was not allowed to know the details of the evidence raised against her) and was then executed by order of Elizabeth.


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